Is Gambling Immoral?
In my culture, the somewhat money-orientated Chinese culture, gambling is nothing but daily entertainment, something to occupy yourselves with over a cup of tea or some rice wine with friends, a must-do during family get-togethers on Chinese New Year, or a fun activity you see going on under a tree in a random park. That is our version of gambling, or Majhong, as we call it. However, in recent years, as the western world invaded Asia, more and more “casinos” or “pachinko slots” have started mushrooming all over the country, and you often hear news of people fighting, even resorting to murder, over conflicts of money lost over gambling.
It brings us to think hard about the morality of gambling. Sure, it is the personal freedom of an individual to choose whether he or she wants to gamble or not, but should the government issue licenses to these gambling venues? From my point of view, gambling is not immoral, as long as it does not become addictive. First of all, gambling venues are built on vast pieces of land that, normally, construction companies would never lay eyes on. It could bring large sums of tax to the government, which could use it for other purposes and construct useful facilities without having to ask citizens for more tax.
Also, since these venues make a large amount of profit already, there would be less problems when it comes to asking them to pay tax, unlike lots of other businesses that often find loopholes to sneak out of tax paying. Second of all, if you come to think of it, gambling is just another type of entertainment, which keeps people minds off their work or stress for a while, and may actually reduce the number of people committing crimes on the streets because they have nothing else better to do.
That is, as long as the gamblers don’t get hot in their heads and cause conflict. Thirdly, as we can clearly see from gambling paradises such as Las Vegas, or the aspiring Macau, these gambling venues can actually promote tourism and stimulate the local economy! Some people travel half way across the world to enjoy a night in one of these casinos, and under well control so as not to affect local citizen’s lives, it is no doubt a one-way ticket to making the city a prosperous, thriving tourist hot-spot. Responsible gambling is nothing but harmless fun.
Irresponsible gambling, on the other hand, in which the gambler loses property essential for living, or money that doesn’t belong to him, is immoral and should be stopped at all costs. Instead of arguing over whether or not gambling should be legalized, I think the government should spend more time on thinking which venues it should issue a license to. These casinos are merely another sort of business, where businessmen make money, and consumers willingly come to spend money. For the above three reasons, I believe that gambling is not that much of a vice then most people think it is.